Cyber Security Trends: What to Watch for in 2018

As we wrap up another calendar year, we can’t help but think about the near future and what it holds in store for the cyber security – and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) as a growing issue. Based on Corero’s visibility into environments dealing with DDoS, we’ve summarized a few of the biggest trends we see on the horizon for 2018.

DDoS Cripples Cryptocurrency Exchanges

DDoS attacks against cryptocurrency have been a fairly common occurrence as of late, crippling the exchanges. This is the second attack against Bitfinex this month. With the growing popularity of digital currencies, the number of those attacks is likely to increase in the future. DDoS attacks against any digital currency could be utilized to manipulate the exchange market or the targeted currency. They can prevent traders from logging into accounts and making transactions, causing the value to drop. Attackers can then pause the attack efforts to buy as much as they can while the price is low – impacting the overall value of the currency. Just recently, in mid-December, DDoS attacks on cryptocurrency companies affected trading volume and price. Whether or not the Bitcoin fever will turn into a big burst bubble, we expect cryptocurrency exchanges to suffer many forms of cyberattack, from ransomware attacks to DDoS attacks, or some combination of both, which we are calling RDoS attacks.

IoT Security Troubles Rising

The Internet of Things (IoT) is developing rapidly; predicts that in 2018 there will be 23.14 billion IoT devices, compared with 20.35 billion in 2017. As the number of connected devices grows, so do the threats that come with it, making this another major concern in cyber security predictions for 2018. The availability of Internet connected devices with vulnerable operating systems are paving the way for massive botnet activity, which is further driven by the proliferation of DDoS- for-hire services.

DDoS Assessment

These “zombie armies” of connected devices can then be leveraged in both large scale and everyday DDoS attack activity. As we know too well, a DDoS attack is easy to launch as it does not require in-depth understanding of programing or networking. The largest DDoS attack to-date was a record 1.2 Tbps, in late 2016 against Domain Name Service provider, Dyn. Investigation into this attack showed that a large number of IoT devices were hijacked as botnets to carry out the attack. It’s becoming harder to ignore the security risks associated with IoT, which is why this concern will continue to dominate into 2018.

Hybrid Clouds on the Horizon

This prediction has been topping the lists for quite some time, and it is most likely going to be there for several more years to come. As enterprise architectures evolve into services and virtualization deployments across heterogenous environments, standardized protection against the evolving cyber threat landscape has never been more critical.

These steady migrations will require a comprehensive cyber security strategy to properly protect against the evolving threat landscape, including DDoS. Layered security strategies must meet the demand of innovative organizations. Their move toward public and private clouds must be elastic to deploy and scale as needed.

Compliance will be Crucial

Governmental regulations have already influenced the 2018 cyber security space. So far the US and EU have been largest drivers of cyber security regulation, with the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) set to be in place in May 2018. Even ahead of GDPR, many worry about the implications of the European Union Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive, which could mean monetary fines for critical infrastructure organizations that experience service outages due to a cyberattack. In the US, the next wave of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines could impact how Federal agencies safeguard the information contained in their systems and ensure that these systems operate securely and reliably.

In 2018 there will be no shortage of cyber security threats, government mandates to follow or steps to take in order to safeguard your network and data. Corero’s team of cyber security experts has been helping organizations overcome such difficult challenges for more than a decade, and we stand ready as ever to help again in the coming year.

For more information, contact us.